The self asks me who I am
The pomegranate tree symbolizes wealth. The oak tree stands alone with dignity for strength. The pine tree speaks of eternal love and the willow tree is a water-loving tree that symbolizes regeneration and signifies emotional balance.
The self asks me who I am is written by Nazik al-Mala’ika. I have archived it from ‘I am’, Women of the Fertile Crescent: An Anthology of Modern Poetry by Arab Women. Edited and translated by Kamal Boullata, a Palestinian artist and art historian.
That discomfort that you are feeling. Its a sign that its a time to grow. Do it compeltely. Do less. Live simply.
I have this strange feeling that I’m not myself anymore. It’s hard to put in words, but I guess it’s like I was fast asleep, and someone came, disassembled me, and hurriedly put me back together again. That sort of feeling.Haruki Murakami, Sputnik Sweetheart
There once was a Willow, and he was very old,
And all his leaves fell off from him, and left him in the cold;
But ere the rude winter could buffet him with snow,
There grew upon his hoary head a crop of mistletoe.
All wrinkled and furrowed was this old Willow’s skin,
His taper finger trembled, and his arms were very thin;
Two round eyes and hollow, that stared but did not see;
And sprawling feet that never walked, had this most ancient tree.
~Julianna Horatia Ewing, “The Willow Man”
In J. R. R. Tolkien’s fantasy The Lord of the Rings, Old Man Willow is a malign tree-spirit of great age in Tom Bombadil’s Old Forest, appearing physically as a large willow tree beside the River Withywindle, but spreading his influence throughout the forest.
The sun shines not on us but in us. The rivers flow not past, but through us.
The sun shines not on us but in us. The rivers flow not past, but through us. Thrilling, tingling, vibrating every fiber and cell of the substance of our bodies, making them glide and sing. The trees wave and the flowers bloom in our bodies as well as our souls, and every bird song, wind song, and tremendous storm song of the rocks in the heart of the mountains is our song, our very own, and sings our love.John Muir
Thank you for reading.
The Detailed Analysis Of Ancient Banyan Trees Of Old Clifton Road, Karachi
Common Names: Banyan tree, Indian Fig tree
Scientific Names: Ficus benghalensis
Local Names: Barghad ka darakht, bohr, barh
Origin: India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh
These ancient banyan trees have been granted to us in all bountiful ways by nature. This is nearly a perfect test of our being in the right temper of mind and way of life so that anyone who loves trees enough, would know about them in their full glory.
I am talking about these banyan trees of old Clifton in fondness which transforms the continuance of physical spacetime into moments.
I recently came to know about this unique wonder of nature while scrolling down some posts from a Facebook group. The name of the group is In Defence Of Trees. It is Almas Mehmood who first shared these photos entitling old faithful banyan trees of Clifton and then I decided that it’s an ideal time for me to document these marvelous living miracle of nature.
Where these Banyan trees are located?
1. For this, you have to visit Karachi. You can easily locate these Banyan trees at Shahrah-e-Iran road in old Clifton Karachi, Pakistan.
2. It is an area of the city that was developed in the 19th century. It was those days when Henry Bartle Frere was appointed chief commissioner of Sindh. In 1850, he took advantage of the opportunities granted to him of further developing the city.
“It was said that he even pensioned off the dispossessed amirs, improved the harbour at Karachi, where he also established municipal buildings, a museum and barracks, instituted fairs, multiplied roads, canals and schools.”
The banyan trees were planted in abundance along the roadsides initially to please the Hindu community at that time because of their religious affiliation with these trees.
It was the time of great mutiny.
What is special about these Banyan Trees?
3. It all happened when Karachi’s Natural Heritage Association decided to take a visionary step due to some concerned reasons.
They intentionally, marked and preserved about 68 banyan trees in the old Clifton area only. Here’s the proof.
Thankfully, I found these additional photos via Twitter while browsing about them.
03 Phase field work : Natural Heritage Association of Karachi (NHAK) and @SindhGovt1 : all banyan trees marked with digital numbering system / measurements / bilingual details. #savethebanyantreeproject #karachi #naturalheritage #preservation pic.twitter.com/PJTzr5hLiR— Marvi Mazhar (@marvimazhar) February 25, 2020
4. City authorities have declared all banyan trees as protected heritage in order to prevent them from being mercilessly chopped off. Source
There I found out that they even rehabilitated an old banyan tree.
If you do get a chance to visit Shara e Iran /Old Clifton. See @GovOfSindh work with #NHAK on documenting each tree with allocated number system and developing edges for its better growth. May children take photos under the shade of #banyantree always @murtazawahab1 @GovOfSindh pic.twitter.com/GWDBsEm3Uk— Marvi Mazhar (@marvimazhar) October 15, 2020
Furthermore, the provincial environment department has started preserving 68 old Banyan trees to protect them from vandalism. Source.
This is a great initiative by the government of Sindh of saving heritage trees from immediate extinction. And in this way giving more power to old trees so that they can thrive in full bloom.
Thank @murtazawahab1 @DCSouthKarachi @Shallwani @irshadsodhar @GovOfSindh for visualising and rehabilitating footpaths and making walkable. And developing edges for these trees versus concrete choking pavements on natural habitat #heritage #banyantree #envionment #climatechange pic.twitter.com/w0NM879FEX— Marvi Mazhar (@marvimazhar) October 15, 2020
5. Don’t you think it’s an amazing fact that some of these trees are believed to be 100 years old or more?
But unfortunately, now these trees are facing the threat of becoming extinct. The reasons are so many to consider: Some think that this is due to the skyrocketing developmental projects in the area. And some cleverly put all the blame on the negligence of the local community.
The detailed analysis of these ancient banyan trees of Karachi
Now here comes the fun part and my favorite activity of documenting trees.
At first, if you glance closely at this tree it seems as they have branches almost everywhere. The branches are unusually long and they have a power to grow and spread at great distances.
It’s unfortunate to see this tree in such drastic conditions. Banyans are native to and thrive best in India and Pakistan. These days, variations of the majestic trees can be found almost everywhere in the world.
The best way to care for them is to give them plenty of space and warm, wet, humid weather. It seems that this tree is already enjoying the view but the debris around this tree is worrisome.
This tree has shed an ample amount of green leaves. Why so? They usually shed their leaves in a dormant/ off season when the temperature of the area dramatically drops.
The banyan is a decidous evergreen tree and it doesn’t shed all it’s leaves at the same time.
The term deciduous means it will shed its leaves annually. Evergreen in the sense that the leaves will remain vibrant green even in winter season unlike other autumn trees.
I think when the picture was taken, it might be the autumn season or the end of the winter season as it is partly covered with leaves.
They will regrow their green leaves when the weather warms up. Banyan trees usually shed their leaves in the dry season to retain the moisture.
It is planted near a building, driveway or a street. It can be easily identified by its aerial roots.
Wow, simply wow! This picture is best to determine at which time of the day it is photographed.
The shadow casts by these trees depend on many factors such as the time of day, location, a particular season, and shape of the trees.
If the sun is to the north of the tree then the shadow will cast on the opposite side of the tree that is to the south.
One of the most attractive aspects of any tree is the shadow it casts. Seeing the shadow its casting say eternity. The hot summer day. Birds are loving the shade. It is 12 o clock when the sun is accurately above the trees.
I can be wrong.
It should be noted that the longest shadows occur at the sun rise and sunset. It is hard to determine the time of the day at that angle. But my guess is that it must be noon or afternoon time when the picture has been taken.
I can see a crow nearby. Can you? Here it should be mentioned that some native birds like crow and common myna dispersed the seeds of banyan trees. They are abundantly found near those trees which have a dense canopy.
This trees along the road indicates that they are really in bad postures. The concrete pavement has limited the spread of these trees and they have leaned themselves towards one side because of lack of support.
The main trunk of this tree is not visible as the aerial roots have grown around the trunk.
Older banyan trees are characterized by aerial prop roots that mature into thick, woody trunks, which can become indistinguishable from the primary trunk with age.
This tree is not laterally spreading over a wide area. The roots have been damaged due to debris and stones.
Ficus benghalensis produces propagating roots which grow downwards as aerial roots. Once these roots reach the ground they grow into woody trunks.
If this tree is given ideal conditions it can easily develop lateral branches and can spread to large distances. This is my favourite banyan tree so far. The tree has already uprooted the pavement. The debris of the fallen leaves has increased the fertility of the soil. It is damp and moist.
The fruits and seeds produced by these tree are eaten by birds such as common myna and crows as they can been seen around.
Rumour has it that the fig seeds which pass through the digestive system of these birds are more likely to germinate and sprout earlier.
This is a classic example of the strangler fig. The main trunk is somewhere lost in that twirling pattern.
Can you see the prop up roots? Can you locate the common myna nearby?
The hanging branches has decided to curl up around the tree. Sadly some branches have been cut down so that they can’t reach the ground.
My heart is bleeding for that tree. The concrete pavement is restricting the growth.
Pictures 5 and 6 are of the same tree.
My blind guess.
Now this tree is like a mini forest of its kind. The banyan tree is right among the largest living trees in the world by canopy coverage. My observation says this tree is the same as in picture 1 but here the picture is taken from the front angle instead of being photographed from the sides.
I am ending this article here because initially my attention is not to write a lengthy post. These are entirely my views, so can be wrong and inaccurate. Thank you for reading, though. Do comment please!
We all eat lies when our hearts are hungry
Sometimes it took all your energy to publish a post…
Attitudes are changing everyday. Rather than be uncomfortable, I’m trying to be optimistic.
Sometimes it took all your energy to publish a post when so much unrealistic is going on in your real nonfictional life.
We all eat lies when our hearts are hungry.
That’s how you can tell that you’re filling yourself with all the wrong things of this life. You use a lot of energy, and in the end, you feel emptier and less comfortable than ever.
The wildfires are turning the sky red where I am living. And when Kafka said, “I have spent all my life resisting the desire to end it,” I felt a deep sorrow in me. In my memory, it doesn’t end.
When a flower doesn’t bloom, you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower.Alexander Den Heijer
These five illustrations of trees are simply magic! I found them through Pinterest where I unconsciously save them for revisiting at some other time. The artist I explore is Lena Gnedkova whois creating Illustrations, tutorials & fanart on many social media sites. Here are some of her tree-related work. Number #1: A tree house with […]
Sometimes it is so difficult to give an appropriate title to a post that I reluctantly write. The draft session of my blog is full of unfinished stories. I am currently writing about the ancient banyan trees of old Clifton. My speed is slow. I can be easily distracted by thousands of things in my […]
Advise From A Tree By Ilan Shamir
This legendary poem “Advise from a tree” is everywhere whenever I looked for the keyword trees on the internet.
It has been manipulated and modified in thousands of ways online but initially, it is written and composed by Ilan Shamir. You can learn more about him here.
Let’s put it into segments for easy reading. Here I would like to describe how I have perceived it through a spiritual viewpoint. These are some insights on giving recognition to a tree that stands tall and proud.
1. Trees educate us about the ancient law of life. They stand tall and proud for a reason.
2. Sink your roots deeply into the Earth has a deep spiritual meaning. It means we should give the same way as we would like to receive from nature. Plant more trees and get more close to the natural world.
The care of the Earth is our most ancient and most worthy, and after all, our most pleasing responsibility.”Wendell Berry
3. Reflect the light of a greater source = Be generous in giving and helping others.
When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.Rumi
4. Think long-term but pause for a minute. Believe in your infinite potential of helping others and do your best.
A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesySaint Basil
reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love.
5. Go out on a limb and take risks.
Every day is an opportunity to learn something or discover something or someplace. Be curious, play, go out on a limb, walk a different way to work, try a new food at dinner and keep learning and growing.Sandra Magsamen
6. Remember your place among all living beings and be kind to your fellow human beings.
We are all connected; To each other, biologically. To the earth, chemically. To the rest of the universe atomically.Neil DeGrasse Tyson
7. Embrace with joy the changing seasons because always remember your outer world is the reflection of your life’s inner world.
Be like the sun for grace and mercy. Be like the night to cover others’ faults. Be like running water for generosity. Be like death for rage and anger. Be like the Earth for modesty. Appear as you are. Be as you appear.Citation needed
8. For each yields its own abundance as everything is created twice, first in the mind and then in reality. Serve others.
When you find yourself in need of spiritual nourishment, it is in the opportunities to serve others that you will find the abundance you seek.Steve Maraboli
9. The Energy and Birth of Spring = Be conscious of your surroundings.
Once upon a time, I dreamt I was a butterfly, fluttering hither and thither, to all intents and purposes a butterfly. I was conscious only of my happiness as a butterfly, unaware that I was myself. Soon I awaked, and there I was, veritably myself again. Now I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly, dreaming I am a man.Zhuangzi
10. The Growth and Contentment of Summer remind us that the best friend on earth of man is the tree.
You have no choice. You must leave your ego on the doorstep before you enter love.Kamand Kojouri
11. The Wisdom to let go of leaves in the Fall suggests that we should be open to change and varying opinions.
12. The Rest and Quiet Renewal of Winter reminds us that the trees outlive us, they are fixed, but seem to arise a sense of permanence in us.
13. Feel the wind and the sun And delight in their presence = Be Happy.
Happiness comes from helping others, by being with others, and by sharing, even if it’s only a smile.Zain Hashmi
14. Look up at the moon that shines down upon you and the mystery of the stars at night. Once we see the world for what it is, we see that it is nothing but a reminder of God, a remembrance of God.
Those who look for seashells will find seashells; those who open them will find pearls.Al-Ghazali
15. Seek nourishment from the good things in life because what you seek is also seeking you.
16. Simple pleasures Earth, fresh air, light = Find happiness by taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life.
17. Be content with your natural beauty means follow the wisdom provided by nature. Too much of everything will ruin your personality.
18. Drink plenty of water reminds us that we should keep nourishing our soul.
19. Let your limbs sway and dance in the breezes. Your heart knows the way.
Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion.Rumi
20. Be flexible like water
We are like water, aren’t we? We can be fluid, flexible when we have to be. But strong and destructive, too.” And something else, I think to myself. Like water, we mostly follow the path of least resistance.Wally Lamb, We Are Water
21. Remeber your roots because your journey is towards your homeland.
Your journey is towards your homeland. Remember you are travelling from the world of appearances to the world of Reality.Abdul Khaliq Ghujduwani
22. In the end, I would not make any promises. Just Enjoy the view!
I should not make any promises right now,Hafiz
But I know if you
Somewhere in this world –
Something good will happen.
Here’s the original poem..
Stand Tall and Proud
Sink your roots deeply into the Earth
Reflect the light of a greater source
Think long term
Go out on a limb
Remember your place among all living beings
Embrace with joy the changing seasons
For each yields its own abundance
The Energy and Birth of Spring
The Growth and Contentment of Summer
The Wisdom to let go of leaves in the Fall
The Rest and Quiet Renewal of Winter
Feel the wind and the sun
And delight in their presence
Look up at the moon that shines down upon you
And the mystery of the stars at night.
Seek nourishment from the good things in life
Earth, fresh air, light
Be content with your natural beauty
Drink plenty of water
Let your limbs sway and dance in the breezes
Remember your roots
Enjoy the view!
Thank you for reading.
Hello dear friends and respected readers! The month of June is already here. Let’s talk about some fun facts about this month and know why June is called June? June is the sixth month of the Gregorian calendar. It is called so because it is named after Juno, the Roman goddess of childbirth and fertility. […]
I read into things & tonight, my mood is like the dark green leaves of Ficus elastica
Tonight, my mood is like the dark green leaves of Ficus elastica. Have you heard about the rubber tree plant? Yes, you might have guessed it by now that Ficus elastica is the scientific name of the rubber plant. It’s a kind of plant that has a shiny and rubbery texture.
The symbolic meaning of the rubber tree plant
If you are seeing a rubber tree plant, it might be a hint that you need to learn to love yourself first before you are ready to receive love from others.
This kind of plant brings prosperity, wealth, and good luck to your house.
This is a kind of plant that brings positive energy in your house.
This is a kind of plant that promotes growth and has a healing power.
This is a kind of plant that evolves a sense of peace and stability to the mind.
Tonight my mood is like the dark green leaves of Ficus elastica and for days, I wanted to write something on dark green leaves but then I read onto other things as well. You know, I can be easily distracted by boredom when I am feeling energetic but have nowhere to direct my energy.
Ficus elastica provides a stress-free environment in your house by purifying the air you breathe.
This is a kind of plant that brings balance and harmony to your life.
I read into things and tonight, my thoughts are not just limited to Ficus elastica
Margaret Atwood says, “if you get hungry enough (…) you start eating your own heart.” The truth is that if you don’t discipline your heart, it will swallow you.
Thank you for reading.
The survival of an heritage tree
This picture recently receives my attention on the social media platform. It happens when a person by the name Hamayun Mughal shared this image with a local gardening group on Facebook and it awestruck me since then.
I was stunned to find this kind of tree that has embedded its roots deep in the walls of a neglected building. Out of curiosity, a little research on it reveals that it is a Haveli (mansion) Sujan Singh which is located in the overcrowded market of Bhabhra Bazar, Rawalpindi.
It was built in the early 1890s by a wealthy businessman Rai Bahadur Sujan Singh in the Colonial era.
The haveli was built to resemble a royal palace with a majestic golden throne and bedrooms with original ivory furniture. In the various courtyards dancing peacocks were kept to dance during the evening and a pet tiger was kept which regularly walked the corridors.Wikipedia
It might be a spell-binding place in the olden days but now some parts of the haveli have been badly demolished, with collapsed roofs and termite-ridden walls further damaging the place. Hence, the building has been left to crumble and rot with time.
But then this happened…
But then this happened, nature decided to take over the entire place with its own leafy interwoven pattern.
This is presuming a heritage tree because it has ecological and cultural value. It has beautifully embedded itself in a place that is recognized as a heritage site by the government of Pakistan.
This kind of tree takes pleasure in its transformations. It looks familiar, quiet, and consistent in its appearances, but few of us know how much wisdom and insight this kind of tree endures inside its roots. It is freaking sober and relaxes where it is supposed to be.
Here let us redefined a heritage tree:
- A heritage tree is defined as a tree of cultural, biological, ecological, or historical concern depending upon its age, size, or condition.
- They are often among the oldest living things in the country.
- They are found in native forests, historic parks, farms, and estates of a country.
- They are usually along roadsides and in agricultural fields and sometimes find in the middle of residential areas or development sites.
- There is a need to preserve these trees for ecological and economic reasons.
What kind of tree it is?
This is a peepal tree which is one of the most beloved trees in the South Asian community.
There is a need to understand that native trees are highly aggressive and invasive while having an innate ability to spread almost anywhere.
This tree might be 10-20 years old or younger. It’s spread slowly but steadily when given ideal surroundings.
It’s a symbol of strength, morale, resistance and knowledge.
Throughout history, the peepal tree has been represented in different mythologies and sometimes linked to powerful gods. The peepal tree is considered a cosmic storehouse of wisdom comprised of tremendous strength. It grows slowly, but surely at its rate.
Are you wondering from where this tree is obtaining nourishment and overall strength?
- Many factors are responsible for its growth such as an abundance of light is essential for photosynthesis, a process by which a plant manufactures its food.
- The tree roots are well anchored and ingrained deeply requiring both organic and inorganic nutrients from the building.
- The bricks are mostly wet and damp. So, you can see that the tree is receiving moisture from the rainwater and the structure itself.
I have heard that restoration work is in progress to revive this old-time architectural wonder. My only concern is that they don’t cut down this tree. I understand it must be a challenging task for them to preserve this historical site. Let’s hope for the best.
Image courtesy: Facebook group post by Humayun Mughal
Thank you for reading. Please like, share and follow my blog.
Mango – A wish granting tree (Part 2)
Interesting facts about mango trees
For centuries, mango trees are symbolized in South Asian countries as wish-granting trees. This is part 2 of the Mango – A wish-granting tree mini-series.
If you have missed the previous section, then you can read about part 1 here:
Let’s find out the mythical meaning of the mango trees in folklore and mythology in a deliciously tender way.
Already so much information is gathered about these majestic mango trees across the internet. That if we composed them then they tend to fill many volumes.
Even a single story about the mango tree manages to fill many papers. Will you agree with me if I say that a single fact about the mango tree requires comprehensive research and analysis? Yes? No?
I am not an obsessive person about trees in any way but I do think that there is always a need to know about what made them so attractive and beneficial in history along with their various meanings in ancient scripts. Therefore, I feel that the sole purpose of this mini-series is to outline the different aspects of mango trees.
In part 1, I have briefly appraised the origin and etymology of mango trees by narrating the marvelous journey of Aam-kay to mango.
Here in part 2, my sole motive is to highlight this topic in detail.
- The history of mango trees in Buddhism
The Buddha love for mango trees
I ended the last section by referring to an account that in ancient India there was a tradition of the ruling class to bestow titles to prominent people by using the names of mango varieties.
In some rare cases, it was noticed that there was also a custom of allotting an entire mango grove to respected people as a token for their love and devotion.
32. In the travelogue of renowned Buddhist pilgrims Fa-Hien and Sung-Yun, it is remembered that the Buddha was presented with a mango orchard as a sign of love and affection by Amradarika in 500 BC. This mango orchard was called Amravana and it is used as a place for meditation by Buddha.
33. The more fascinating thing is to know about the Amradarika herself. If you are aware of Urdu/Hindi languages then this word would look very familiar to you. Isn’t that? If you split the term Amradarika in two then it will reveal to you that Amra means mango and darika is a Sanskrit word that is used for the tree.
34. The more I came to know about her, the more I got marvel. The Amradarika as I came to know is a kind of a repentant prostitute. The term Buddhic Magdalen was used for her. In simplest words, she was the daughter of the mango tree. This is what I learned from some ancient scripts that she was very devoted to the Buddha and gave that garden as a charity to him.
35. As excerpted from this source,
“The lady Amra appears more natural. She is called the “Mango girl” in the Southern records…she was a courtesan, and otherwise called Ambapali.” Amba or ambha is a Punjabi word for mangoes.
Do you want to find out which legendry person used to meditate under the shade of a mango tree?
36. Though, the bodhi tree is where the Buddha finds enlightenment. But the legends also claim that Buddha himself is said to have meditated under a mango tree within a silent grove.
38. Here is a proof of how an impression of a mango tree is found in the friezes on the Stupa of Bharut which dates back about 100 BC.
His multiple images in front of a mango tree is indeed a popular theme of Buddhist art.
42. Here, I would like to mention that Buddhist monks are believed to have taken mango fruits with them when traveling from place to place especially for working or teaching in various places of the world for relatively short periods.
And therefore, introduced the fruit to Southern East Asia countries like Malaysia and China around the 4th and 5th century BC.
They have achieved this by planting seeds of mangoes beside the temples and nearby gardens. Usually, it took approximately 5 years for a mango tree to bear fruits from a seedling in the summer season.
The tale of present-day Srilanka conversion to Buddhism
43. Now, this was an interesting time in history when the entire nation was judge by the temperament of the ruler of that era.
According to the Great Chronicle of Ceylon, present-day Sri Lanka converted to Buddhism after an intense and symbolic conversation over mango trees between the Island’s King Tissa and Mahinda. The King was so touched and convinced of the Mahinda knowledge that he converted to Buddhism, and consequently, the rest of the island’s population.
The Mahavamsa recorded:
“What name does this tree bear, O king?”
“This tree is called a Mango.”
“Is there yet another Mango besides this?”
“There are many mango trees.”
“And are there yet other trees besides this mango and the other mangos?”
“There are many trees, sir; but those are trees that are not mangoes.”
“And are there, besides the other mangoes and those trees which are not mangoes, yet other trees?”
“There are yet more of those than of my kin.”
“Is there yet any one besides the kinsfolk and the others?”
“There is yet myself, sir.”
“Good. Thou hast a shrewd wit, O ruler of men.”
Somehow this answer satisfied the Mahinda who initially came here to preach to them about his religion. He was impressed by the king’s quick wit and intelligence, and consequently he started preaching to the entire court.
**(I have provided the Links where they are expected & required).
I am ending this section here. I hope you like this effort and thanks for finding time to read it. Please like, share, and follow my blog so that I keep on writing about trees & more.
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